With some help from the great guys from Secure Webs, I decided to expose my site,
http://www.123aspx.com , as a web service. I wanted to start with something simple, so I
decided to expose the "What's New" ASP.NET resources. The "what's new"
section contains the latest 12 additions to my site. Here is a quick tutorial around
writing that webservice.
Webservices in ASP.NET are built around the SOAP (Simple Object
Access Protocol) and WSDL (Web Services Description Language). We're not going to get into these
standards (WSDL, and SOAP), but instead, focus on creating a webservice and consuming it.
I decided to return a dataset object as my collection of new resources. I chose a dataset
because most ASP.NET developers are already familiar with datasets, and they can easily be
bound to datagrids. The dataset consists of 4 columns:
Name - the name or title of the resource.
URL - The url to the resource
Domain - The domain name the resource can be found at.
DateUpdated - The date the resource was updated
We start programming a webservice by declaring it to the .NET engine and importing the
Language="VB" Class="AspX123WebSvc" %>
Option Strict On
Option Explicit On
We also need to tell the compiler that the class
"AspX123WebSvc" will be webservice enabled. We do this by inheriting the
WebService namespace in the class declaration.
Public Class AspX123WebSvc : Inherits WebService
Now that we have our classes defined, I went ahead and declared the main
Getting To It Because we are declaring a method here, we need to mark it as a webservice method
Public Function GetNewResources() As DataSet
I decided to add a friendly description to this method, to tell the consumer what this method does.
When we view the default WSDL, supplied natively by ASP.NET, our description will show be available to the consuming programer.
Once we have our functions and classes declared, writing a webservice is just like writing any other codebehind file.
Accessing the Database
Now that I have my webservice framework in place, let's go ahead and get our our data. In this example, I need to
massage the data a little bit, specifically the domain name of the ASP.NET resource. So what I decided to do,
was to return a datareader, strip off only the domain name of the resource (instead of returning the complete url), and then
build the dataset that we will eventually be returning. To access the database I use 2 utility functions. One function is called GetDataReader( )
and the other function is called sqlConnString(). . GetDataReader() returns a SqlDataReader, it also takes advantage of System.Data.CommandBehavior.CloseConnection.
System.Data.CommandBehavior.CloseConnection is a parameter that tells the framework to close the datareader as soon as I'm done reading from it.
sqlConnString() is used to read my SQL Server connection string from the web.config file. I've included a snippet from my web.config file to
display how I'm adding an appsettings section to web.config.
Private Function GetDataReader(sqlText as String) as SqlDataReader
Dim dr as SqlDataReader
Dim sqlConn as SqlConnection = new SqlConnection( sqlConnString() )
Dim sqlCmd as SqlCommand = new SqlCommand( sqlText, sqlConn )
dr = sqlCmd.ExecuteReader( System.Data.CommandBehavior.CloseConnection )
Private Function sqlConnString() as String
I have a stored procedure called "s_res_whats_new". I execute
the stored procedure to return the datareader. I also create my dataset that I will be passing back
to the webservice.
1,2,3 go configure – phase 2
Phase 2 Configuration – First Time
Now that setup is complete using IISLogsGUI to configure
Click Start, Program Files, IISLogs, IISLogsGUI.exe
A Dialog will appear asking for the Config file Select IISLogsdEXE.exe.config file Click Open
The EasyConfig GUI will appear
Click Select Individual Sites or Check All
This will show the specific directories that will be monitored, if you want
to add additional sites click Easy Config Button again
Select Enable ZIP Feature,
Optionally, Select Delete Original Log File After Zipped, Fill in ZIP
Files Older Than (Hours) section, — Personally I use 168 (1 week).
If this is the first time configuring IISLogs to ZIP files, you’ll be
prompted to agree to the
ZIP Feature Policy Agreement. This is an explicit agreement the person
has tested IISLogs in a non-production environment or is in process of
verifying backups are available to insure critical Log Files are available, if
Notice the Delete Original File After Zipped, by default IISLogs doesn’t remove the
original log file
and ONLY creates a zip file. We strongly recommend you verify the zip
files are able to be extracted and/or recovered before enabling delete original file.
If you want to enable the one of the four delete options through out IISLOGS,
prompted to agree to the Delete File Policy Agreement. Enabling
anyone of these
delete options for the first time will prompt you. Once you’ve agreed,
you’ll not be
prompted again. For me, I enable the Enable Delete Feature first and
have it delete files
older than 10 weeks old. this will vary depending on your policies.
Select Enable Delete Feature option, you’ll be prompted to agree to the
Delete File Policy Agreement. Read, chose Accept and click OK.
You’ll not be prompted
Select Enable Delete Feature, Fill in Delete Retention Period (hours) — Personally I
File Naming Options
If you take the defaults, the ZIP files will be named exYYDDMM.zip
The First and Last textbox is free-form text, these are
optional and will add text either in front and/or back of the file name, spaces
Notice in dropdown textbox following items
%M% (Month in single digit),%MM% (Month in double digit),%MMMM%
(In word format) %D% (Day in single digit),%DD% (Day in double digit),%DDDD%
(In word format) %YY% (In two-digit year format), %YYYY% (In four year digit)
Select appropriate options
This is a separate feature from IISLOGS, ONLY will DELETE files. This is
feature to have the ability have some directories that are configured to zip
and delete and others to have the option to JUST delete after a separate
configurable delete parameter, just put a comma deleted list of directories to
have their log files deleted separate from IISLogs core functionality I.E.(C:LogfileDir1,C:LogfileDir2,C:LogfileDir3)
NO SPACES please.
This feature ONLY will allow for monitoring the SMTP directories, normally
under C:InetpubMailroot directory. This is a separate feature from IISLOGS and
won’t ZIP files, files with extensions .BAD,.BDR,.BDP will ONLY be allowed to be
deleted in the configured directories.
Select Mail Report, Note: the Mail User id
and Mail Password fields are stored encrypted so they aren’t clear text
in the config file.
If your using the Stand-Alone EXE version, just skip over this
ServiceInterval – This setting is ONLY used if your using the
Windows Service version of IISLogs –
This setting can be configured to allow IISLogs service component to run multiple times. The default is 3 AM,
if your going to add more than one time to run the IISLogs process, Here is an example of how to enter multiple
entries either using the IISLogs configuration GUI or favorite text editor.
IISLogsGUI configuration utility will appear, this will have all the settings
configured in the Wizard.
Review all settings.
To LaunchIISLogsdStand-Alone EXE
Select Click the Wizard or select in Program Files.
Optionally you can schedule IISLogsd.exe in using Windows Task
Scheduler, a 3rd party scheduler to run on a timed basis.
If your using Windows Service Version, open the Services applet in the
control panel and start IISLogs Service
Assembling the DataSet Once I had a datareader back from my database, full of new resources, I loop
through the datareader to create a dataset. The reason I didn't bring back the
dataset directly, is because I needed to modify some of the data, before I sent it out as
the webservice, mainly the Date and Domain name. I modify the date, to have a short date format, and I modify the url
to only return the domain name part of the url. For example, if I was referencing the resource
/authors/Default.asp, I only want to return www.aspfree.com. Once I have the parameters
URL, DateUpdated, Domain, and Resource Name, I add them to a datarow and add the datarow to a datatable, which is part of the
dataset. Here is the code I use to
loop through the datareader and compile the dataset.
REM -- get the data from the database
Dim sqlText as String = "exec s_res_whats_new"
Dim dbRead as SqlDataReader = GetDataReader( sqlText )
REM -- create the datatable
Dim ds as DataSet = New DataSet("NewResources")
Dim dt as DataTable = ds.Tables.Add("ResourceList")
Dim dr as DataRow
ResourceDomain = ""
If len(ResourceUrl)>PROT_PRFX_LEN then
REM -- Strip off 'http://' and remove everything after .com, .net, or .org, or less than 25 characters
UrlWhatsNew = ResourceUrl & "/"
ResourceDomain = LCASE(Left(Mid(UrlWhatsNew, PROT_PRFX_LEN
ResourceDate = DateUpdated.ToShortDateString()
ResourceUrl = "http://www.123aspx.com/resdetail.asp?rid=" & ResourcePk
REM -- Add to DataSet ds
dr = dt.NewRow()
dr("URL") = ResourceUrl
dr("DateUpdated") = ResourceDate
dr("Domain") = ResourceDomain
dr("Name") = ResourceName
Here I manipulated the "res_dateupdated" field by first
converting it to a date. Because sql server is storing the date as a long date
(mm/dd/yy with seconds), I needed to parse the date to return only mm/dd/yy.
Creating a short date can be done by the following line:
res_date = date_dateupdated.ToShortDateString()
I added each local variable to a column in a datarow, and then added the
row to the dataset. After the datareader had finished looping, I returned the Dataset.
Now it was time to test my webservice. ASP.NET provides a default page for testing
webservices. If you look closely, you will see the description:"Returns the latest 12 New and Updated Resources at http://www.123aspx.com" that we used to
describe our method GetNewResources.Here is a screenshot.
ASP.NET returns a webservice in the form of the industry strandard, WSDL protocol. WSDL is an XML document that will tell the consumer
what methods are available to be called, and can be considered a type of API.
We can now test our webservice by clicking the Invoke button. Here is a screen
shot of the first 3 rows of data that will be sent to the consumer.
Conclusion ASP.NET makes it extremely easy for us to build webservices. Once we have a basic
understanding of how ASP.NET works, it isn't that hard to extend our knowledge to
webservices. On to consuming the webservice...